Main The Tunguska Event Discussion

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08:46:51 PM Feb 23rd 2014
The Literature folder includes this entry:

  • William Barton and Michael Capobianco wrote the 1995 Sherlock Holmes short story "The Adventure of the Russian Grave" in which Professor Moriarty's only canonical mathematical paper, The Dynamics Of An Asteroid, is a Batman Gambit designed to engage Holmes' love of mysteries. It is a trap intended to bring him and Watson to Tunguska on that day at that time. When Holmes realizes this, he and Watson run for their lives, barely making it out alive. (This appears to be a Shout-Out to Isaac Asimov's 1985 "Black Widowers" short story "The Ultimate Crime", although Asimov's story does not specifically mention Tunguska by name.)

I have no idea where that last sentence came from, but it's almost certainly bogus. Asimov's story has nothing to do with Tunguska. It refers to the notion (now discredited, but still plausible in Doyle's time) that the asteroid belt is made up of the fragments of a planet that used to orbit between Mars and Jupiter, but was destroyed. Asimov's story suggests that Moriarty's paper is about that planet, and more specifically, about how it may have been deliberately destroyed by one of its inhabitants (the "ultimate crime" of the title). No connection to the Tunguska explosion is even hinted at.
09:18:06 AM Mar 3rd 2014
Nobody has disagreed, so I'm going to delete the Asimov reference.
06:54:40 PM Mar 7th 2013
Justr what is is with Russia and getting hit by meteors?
08:19:46 PM Mar 7th 2013
Largest country on the planet, I'd imagine.
08:28:24 PM Mar 7th 2013
edited by BrentCrater
With a sample size of two it's a bit premature to say it's a 'thing'. The Russian Federation is the largest country by land area, even now, so it will be more likely to get hit. nonetheless a couple hundred impacts would have to be included to make any conclusions about extra risk.

Other places do get hit. The first example that popped into my head is the H chondrite that hit near Canancas, Peru in 2007; it would have been about 8 meters across based on the depth of the crater. (The Chelyabinsk object was about 15-20 times the mass and was a more fragile L chondrite.)
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